The Ondangwa mission station was founded by August Pettinen in 1890. However before Ondangwa was officially founded, the Finnish missionaries experienced a few obstacles that prevented them from working in the territories of Ovambo tribes in the west and north side. Their work was limited in Ondonga. Even in Ondonga their work was limited to the west because in the east, Prince Nehale had been hostile towards foreigners.
In 1889,the Finns had received some news that Prince Nehale was planning to kill them and plunder mission stations as he thought that he could get some ammunition. This however, was not the case as Pettinen only brought with him a few families and a few Christian servants.
In 1898 Hilja Lindberg and Anna Rautanen were the first unmarried female missionaries to be sent into Ovamboland and Ondangwa.